UN agency seeks $414m for Palestinian refugees

5 Feb 16

The United Nations’ Palestinian refugee agency launched a $414m appeal for its work with Palestinian refugees affected by the conflict in Syria amidst the high-level donors’ conference in London yesterday.

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A Palestine child holding UNWRA aid. Credit: European Commission

A Palestine child holding UNWRA aid. Credit: European Commission

 

The UN’s Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East, UNRWA, said almost half a billion dollars is required to meet the critical needs of 450,000 Palestine refugees inside Syria as well as the 60,000 who have fled to Lebanon and Jordan.

Pierre Krähenbühl, UNRWA’s commissioner general, said it is critical that the plight of the Palestine refugee community is not underestimated or forgotten in the midst of the broader Syrian tragedy.

UNRWA said Palestine refugees have been dramatically affected due to their proximity to conflict areas inside Syria, high rates of poverty and the tenuous legal status of those forced to flee to Jordan and Lebanon.

The majority of UNRWA’s appeal, $329m, will be directed towards the humanitarian needs of Palestinians still inside Syria, over 65% of whom have fled their homes. An estimated 95% of those are in need of sustained humanitarian assistance, but tens of thousands are trapped in areas of active conflict with extremely constrained access to aid.

The further $63m will support the needs of Palestinians in Lebanon, $17m in Jordan and a further $4.7m to support Palestinian families from Syria in Gaza, regional coordination and advocacy.

It was announced yesterday that Saudi Arabia would be mobilising $59m for UNRWA, $8m will go towards the Syria appeal, enabling much-needed maintenance on UNRWA schools in Jordan.

The rest of the funds are to be used to support ongoing projects in Gaza and for the reconstruction and equipment of health centres in the West Bank. 

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